Born May 25, 1903, in Brussels; died Mar. 4, 1975, in Nice. French author and screenwriter.
Spaak studied law and worked as a journalist. He began working in films in 1928. His best scenarios were written in collaboration with film directors. Spaak worked with Jacques Feyder on The New Gentlemen (1929), Le Grand Jeu (1934), Pension Mimosa (1934), and Carnival in Flanders (1935; based on a short story by Spaak). With Jean Renoir he wrote the screenplays for Grand Illusion (1937) and The Lower Depths (1936; with E. I. Zamiatin and J. Companeez; adapted from Gorky’s play). He worked with J. Duvivier on They Were Five (1936) and The End of a Day (1939), and with M. Carné on Thérèse Raquin (1953; adapted from Zola’s novel).
Spaak collaborated with K. M. Simonov and E. Triolet on the scenario for the French and Soviet film Normandy-Nieman (1960). With A. Cayatte he worked on Justice Is Done (1950), We Are All Murderers (1952), Before the Deluge (1953), and The Black Dossier (1955). Spaak also wrote the memoirs My 31 Marriages (1946) and the satirical novel Storming of the Bastille (1962; with M. Pons).